This article is a part of our Q&A series in which we give detailed answers to our readers' questions. Have a question? Don't hesitate and send it to us to get a detailed answer!
This question is being asked frequently since the start of the Coronavirus pandemic outbreak, which has changed world order significantly. As often, the answer to this question is mixed and depends both on internal (your health issues) and external factors (geopolitical situation in your country).
Disclaimer: It is always best to consult with your dentist and follow their advice on whether to postpone your appointment due to the coronavirus epidemic. Some dental offices may be taking extra precautions and modifying their schedules to minimize the risk of infection. It is important to follow the guidelines set forth by your local health authorities and practice good hygiene to protect yourself and others from the spread of the virus. Please note that this Q&A may be helpful not only regarding the Covid-19 epidemic but for other epidemics or pandemics as well. Since there are no two similar cases we encourage you to ask questions in the comments section and we will address your situation directly.
Now, let’s go through some typical cases:
All of the dental offices in your country are closed
This is not a hypothetical situation that might happen in the future – already there are countries that fully shut down the whole dental services sector. This is usually due to a lack of government guidelines regarding dental practices. If you are living in such a place the only possibility left may be emergency dental care. We strongly discourage you from visiting such places for treatment that can be postponed and is not urgent. Cases that are serious enough to visit emergency care include pain, bleeding, fever, abscesses, and other serious conditions. Please note that emergency dental care is focused on solving your current urgent problem rather than providing you with state-of-the-art restorative services.
Some dental offices operate without change, but your dentist’s office is closed
This situation is slightly better than having only emergency care available but also in this case we recommend only serious case visits. You may also have a filling if you’re concerned that it will be a deep one or you start feeling pain.
Your dentist’s office is open and you have an upcoming appointment
You should cancel (postpone by a month or more) all the appointments that consist of elective procedures, including regular checkup appointments, dental cleanings, teeth whitening, fillings (except when you’re in pain already), orthodontic and periodontal procedures, implants, and cosmetic dentistry including crowns and veneers.
This article is complete and was published on March 10, 2020, and last updated on July 16, 2023.